An interesting thread.
I don't do weddings - I don't have the disposition for it --- I shudder when I think of what working with the Mother of the Bride would mean.
I think it has cooled down somewhat lately - but in the near past I would have equated Wedding Photography as trying to compete in a barrel of wolverines. It had been, nearly, a showcase for rip-off artists.
Case in point - a friend of the family was preparing to be married. She approached me, and I told her that I did not do Weddings, but I referrred her to another photographer who would.
I saw her a couple of days later - she said that they had engaged a Wedding Consultant - and they had "taken care" of everything - and "photography"(n.b.) was included.
We attended the wedding. The photographer appeared professional - medium format camera - the usual pictures "down the aisle, the "tossing of the boquet", the formals, etc.
The couple went on their honeymoon. A week or so after they returned, the received a post card - their pictures were ready.
To the photograper - and the usual proofs. They selected this one, and that ... and the wonderful Leather Bound Album. Then...
The Five O'Clock Surprise -- What they had selected would cost them $2500 - additional. They, shocked, said, "I thought that photography was included in the Wedding "Package". The answer? "Oh it was -- the *photography* alone. The prints (8" x 10"s at $100 each), the album - everything of any use to the couple was NOT - and would be extra. By the way, *I* own the negatives - and it is my policy to detroy them if the prints and album are not ordered within one month."
My friend had quoted them a price of $1200 - with everything - including ownership of the negatives - so that they could choose whoever they wanted for reprints.
Only one of many horror stories... there are others - the Photographer who was enticed by the open bar and proceeded to get *smashed* with predictable photographic results - and it took the couple a session with their lawyer and the court system to get their deposit back... with *NO* photographs...
One of the worst "scams" I know about is these disposable cameras at each table during the reception. It is not uncommon for fifteen or twenty of these things to be at a wedding, and not produce ONE half decent photograph.